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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Loose Leash Walking

Someone on the forum asked me about loose leash walking in private, and I suggested a specific webinar on the Fenzi Academy website. Unfortunately, at that point, it wasn't available. NOW, I had to erase all my past messages, because the forum won't let you keep more than a certain number, so I don't remember who it was.

So.. I'm posting it here, hoping she will see it, along with anyone else who is interested. Because this webinar is a pre-requisite for another class Denise is offering (for reactive dogs, so probably of less interest to this group in general) the LLW webinar is again available for purchase. And the webinars are cheap... $19.95. So, if you have had trouble teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash, I highly recommend this. It has helped a LOT of people who have really tried other methods and have gotten frustrated and given up.

https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.co...aH6b17EqkLpMm8
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 10:53 PM
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Thank you! It wasn’t me, but I have actually looked at some of the webinars in the past on fearful/reactive dogs and I’ve found many of her articles helpful.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 03:22 AM
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Thank you, Karen. That class will be helpful.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 02:19 PM
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Thanks for the link Karen. I gave it a quick view this morning and incorporated it into our walk to and through the park today. By Diane's definition of LLW in the webinar Skye is doing great. By the definition of our CGC Prep instructor, "a "J" in the leash at all times", we are marginal.

Patience, Practice, and Perseverance and of course make sure we are both having fun. We'll get there.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PNWAlan View Post
Thanks for the link Karen. I gave it a quick view this morning and incorporated it into our walk to and through the park today. By Diane's definition of LLW in the webinar Skye is doing great. By the definition of our CGC Prep instructor, "a "J" in the leash at all times", we are marginal.

Patience, Practice, and Perseverance and of course make sure we are both having fun. We'll get there.


.
Small steps! And yes, there are different definitions of LLW. Your CGC instructor is looking for something like a precursor to heeling, while Denise is looking for a workable, comfortable way for a human and dog to navigate the outside world without hauling on each other. One requires a "j" in the leash, one requires no more than "light contact". As a former horse trainer, I understand and really like "light contact with my dog for casual walking.

That's not what I want for formal heeling, of course, where the dog needs to be right at my side. Then the leash is only there as an "emergency brake". If there is EVER any tightening of the leash, I have not done my job as trainer and handler. The dog actually will be in the same position with or without the leash. ...But that takes a much longer time to teach, especially in the distracting environment of the great outdoors, which the "circle walking" is designed for.

Below are three photos of my dogs walking. The first is what I expect on casual walks. there is "contact" on the leashes, there is not a "j" loop, which on our short-legged breed can actually mean a leash under a leg. But even with three leashes in one hand, you can see that my husband has a very light grip on the leashes, even walking three dogs, because he doesn't need more. They are all behaving, moving with him politely as a group.

In the second photo, Kodi is heeling on leash with a "J" in the leash, so more what your instructor wants. The only way a dog can maintain this is with total attention on the handler, as Kodi is showing here. (well, it flipped the order of these photos, but you get the gist... )

...And if they really CAN maintain that reliably, they don't NEED the leash anymore, (at least in the ring) and can heel like Kodi is in the final photo, proper, finished, competition level heeling.

Kodi is also well enough trained that he is completely reliable off-leash even in the woods. Alas, the coyote danger in our area has increased to the point that we can no longer let him do it. But he did for years, because he is totally trustworthy off-leash. We've never been able to give the girls the opportunity to learn that in a truly open area, because of the coyote problem, unfortuantely.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2017 07 23 Dog Walk at West Hill Dam (7 of 36).jpg (126.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Kodi 2011 01 23 APDT Trial05.jpg (150.7 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg 10666084_767709876623192_8552541559068806812_n-1.jpg (55.5 KB, 8 views)
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 11:35 PM
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Ricky and I walk a total of around 4 miles per day - 2.5 miles in the morning when it is cool and 1.5 miles in the evening when it is tolerable. I rarely put him in a tight heel on these walks, only when there is possible danger like at a crosswalk or meeting another pedestrian where they might trip over his leash or be afraid of him. I use a 6 foot leash (never a retractable leash) and I can "choke up" on the leash as necessary. Ricky prefers to walk 3 or 4 feet behind me when on a loose leash which is okay with me because these are casual walks meant for exercise, stimulation, and exploration. His leash will vary from a "J" to "in contact" depending on the situation. Sometimes his leash will come up bar tight behind me at the full six feet because Ricky needs to relieve himself and it is "all engines full stop", or he has found some smell or object that demands his immediate attention. This is okay with me. I can see his little mind processing and downloading information and I figure it is is part of his socialization and education experience. Other times I will put him in a tight heel for no more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time for training purposes.

Coyotes................we have a severe danger in our area with coyotes jumping fences and snatching small dogs from their back yards. Ricky is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER allowed outside without constant "eyes on" supervision. We live in a wildlife and wetlands conservation area in our community with maintained trails running throughout. Ricky and I use these trails frequently but he is ALWAYS on leash and perfectly safe from coyotes, bobcats, rattlesnakes, and skunks and the cotton tail bunnies are safe from Ricky!

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 11:53 PM
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We did learn the "formal" heel in one of our puppy classes. We do it in the house or in the back yard from time to time and Skye looks just like Kodi in pic #2. I don't use it elsewhere because I don't want to give Skye the opportunity to fail and I think there will be plenty of time for us to learn competition level obedience.

I use "let's go" for our rambles around the neighborhood and other places. That let's Skye know it's ok to observe the environment as long as he is not pulling and/or spinning all four wheels. 99% of the time there is a bit of slack in the leash. So, yes, he does sometimes step over it. In fact he taught himself a trick. I say "Skye, you're tangled". He stops, lifts up his right paw, looks up at me, and waits for me to pull the leash out.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PNWAlan View Post
We did learn the "formal" heel in one of our puppy classes. We do it in the house or in the back yard from time to time and Skye looks just like Kodi in pic #2. I don't use it elsewhere because I don't want to give Skye the opportunity to fail and I think there will be plenty of time for us to learn competition level obedience.

I use "let's go" for our rambles around the neighborhood and other places. That let's Skye know it's ok to observe the environment as long as he is not pulling and/or spinning all four wheels. 99% of the time there is a bit of slack in the leash. So, yes, he does sometimes step over it. In fact he taught himself a trick. I say "Skye, you're tangled". He stops, lifts up his right paw, looks up at me, and waits for me to pull the leash out.


.
Then it sounds to me that he already meets MY definition of loose leash walking! And if you watch the videos for CGC on the AKC website, they allow a LOT more "gentle leash guidance" (to put it tactfully ) in those videos than my instructors would have EVER allowed in my classes! LOL!


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 04:33 PM
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I haven’t watched the video yet, but as I’ve been trying to teach my 6 month old puppy LLW, I wonder how much “heeling” I should expect him to do, and how much exploring? Is it too much to expect him to heel the whole time we are walking to the park (maybe 10-15 minutes)? Is there a percentage of heeling time vs exploration time that could serve as a guideline?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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I haven’t watched the video yet, but as I’ve been trying to teach my 6 month old puppy LLW, I wonder how much “heeling” I should expect him to do, and how much exploring? Is it too much to expect him to heel the whole time we are walking to the park (maybe 10-15 minutes)? Is there a percentage of heeling time vs exploration time that could serve as a guideline?
I don't expect ANY "heeling" on casual walks. Heeling is for the performance ring. Close, LLW is for crowded areas or a dangerous situation, like crossing a street. But that's not heeling either. I discourage heeling in casual settings as it is extremely strenuous for the dog, and the dog AND handler both should be fully engaged in the activity.

And realistically, if you could get 10-15 seconds of GOOD heeling out of a 6 month old puppy, in a ring, with no distractions, you would be doing really well. At that point you should be breaking them out to reward and play and move on to something else, before you lose it.


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Last edited by krandall; 08-16-2019 at 05:18 PM.
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